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450 employees in Spain who lost their jobs in the car industry when the Nissan production plant in Barcelona closed should receive €2.8 million in EU aid.
On Monday, the Committee on Budgets approved Spain’s request for support from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund for Displaced Workers (EGF). MEPs recall “that the social impacts of the redundancies are expected to be important for Cataluña, where the automotive industry is the third most important sector, after chemicals and food, both in terms of turnover and employment.”
Nissan closed its production plant in Catalonia in 2021, as part of its plan to reduce its presence in Europe and to focus on China, North America and Japan. The EGF application relates to ten suppliers to Nissan, which had to close down entirely or reduce their workforce considerably.
The total estimated cost of the support measures is €3.3 million, of which the EGF will cover 85% (€2.8 million). The funding will help the dismissed workers find new jobs through tailored guidance and advice, support to develop new skills, and help to start their own business.
The draft report by rapporteur Monika Vana (Greens/EFA, AT) recommending that Parliament approve the aid was passed by 37 votes, 1 against and no abstentions. Approval by plenary is expected during the 7-10 March plenary session in Strasbourg.
Under the new 2021-2027 EGF regulation, the Fund will continue to support workers and self-employed people whose activity has stopped. The new rules allow support to be given to more people affected by having their jobs or sector restructured: all types of unexpected major restructuring events are eligible for support, including the economic effects of the COVID-19 crisis, as well as larger economic trends like decarbonisation and automation. Member states can apply for EU funding when at least 200 workers lose their jobs within a specific reference period.